Lot 869. A pair of small bronze openwork plaques, Northern Hebei province, 6th-5th century BC; 2 in. (5 cm.) long. Estimate USD 2,000 - USD 3,000Price realised USD 2,750© Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

Of rectangular form, each cast in openwork as two pairs of recumbent kulan with backward-turned heads, only their forequarters shown, as if they are overlapping each other, with convex reverse.

Provenance: Acquired in Hong Kong, 1992.

ExhibitedThe Glorious Traditions of Chinese Bronzes, Singapore, 2000, no. 84.
Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 2002-2006.  

NoteA similar garment plaque is illustrated by E. Bunker et al., Nomadic Art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002, p. 161, no. 139, where it is noted that a similar plaque was found in Chongli county, northwestern Hebei province, and a small ornament with the same kulan decoration was excavated from tomb 3 at Ganzibao, Huailai county, northern Hebei province, along with other artifacts dated to the 6th-early 5th century BC. 

Christie's. The Sze Yuan Tang Archaic Bronzes from the Anthony Hardy CollectionNew York, 16 September 2010